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Iceland is the Guest of Honour at the Gdansk Book Fair 29-31 March

5. April, 2019 News

The Icelandic authors Hallgrímur Helgason, Steinunn Sigurðardóttir, Einar Kárason, Elísabet Jökulsdóttir and Sigríður Hagalín Björnsdóttir will be special guests of the festival.

Iceland will be the Guest of Honour at the Gdańskie Targi Książki literature festival that is held in the Polish Baltic Philharmonic in Gdansk, Poland, on 29th to 31st of March 2019. Icelandic literature and writers will be prominent there as well as translations from Icelandic to Polish. The Gdansk Book Fair is first and foremost aimed at readers. It is now held for the second time and was very well received and had a big attendance when it was launched last year.

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Einar-KarasonIceland and Poland strengthen their bond

The Icelandic Literature Center accepted the offer of honorary participation with much gratitude since it offers an important opportunity to introduce Icelandic literature in Poland where there is much interest in Icelandic and Nordic literature and the Polish people are renowned for their reading enthusiasm. This is also great chance to get to know Polish literature, make connections between the nations, authors, translators, and all those who care about literature. Last but not least this is an excellent opportunity to strengthen the bond between Poland and Iceland since many Polish people live in Iceland and have for many years.

Icelandic authors in the festival

The festival organizers have invited Icelandic authors to the festival who have written books that have already been published in Polish translations, or will be soon. The writers are:

Sigga-Hagalin-COLHallgrímur Helgason who won the Icelandic Literary Prize this year for his novel Sixty Kilos of Sunshine (Sextíu kíló af sólskini) but his previous books, Woman at 1000° and 101 Reykjavík, have gathered much interest in Poland, Steinunn Sigurðardóttir, writer and poet, but her book Heida, the solitary sheep farmer (Heiða - fjalldalabóndinn) will soon be published in Jasek Godek's Polish translation, Einar Kárason who's latest novel, Storm Birds (Stormfuglar), will be available in Polish later this year, Elísabet Jökulsdóttir, who recently won Icelandic National Radio Writers Fund Award but her book of poetry Love is a Nervous-Breakdown. Dancing at the Terrace Rock (Ástin er ein taugahrúga. Enginn dans við Ufsaklett) will be published in Poland this spring in Jasek´s translation, and Sigríður Hagalín Björnsdóttir whose first book, Island (Eyland), was published in Polish last year and was extremely well received. 

They will all take part in the festival's program and introduce their books in various ways. See here for the program of the Icelandic authors in English and here for the full program in Polish.

Translators join in

Jacek Godek is one of the most productive translators of Icelandic literature into Polish and he will be in a panel discussion with the writers where they'll discuss the translations of the books, and share challenges and thoughts on language, culture and more.

Books in Icelandic and Polish at the Icelandic stand

Icelandic Literature Center will also have a stand at the festival with new Icelandic books as well as books by Icelandic authors in Polish translations. Among other Icelandic works that recently have been published in Polish are Black Skies (Svörtuloft) by Arnaldur Indriðason, And the Wind Sees All (Valeyrarvalsinn) by Guðmundur Andri Thorsson, Snare (Gildran) by Lilja Sigurðardóttir, Darkness (Dimma) by Ragnar Jónasson and freedom (frelsi) by Linda Vilhjálmsdóttir and previously many works by Halldór Laxness and Gunnar Gunnarsson have been translted into Polish as well as the books of Nonni & Manni by Jón Sveinsson and the Sagas.

Icelandic publishers at the book fair

Several Icelandic publishers will go to Gdansk, in order to introduce Icelandic books to Polish publishers and readers. 

Around 70 Polish publishers take part in the festival, introducing and selling their books to guests. The programme is diverse and the emphasis will be on Icelandic literature and Nordic topics in events such as readings, conversation between authors and translators, seminars, exhibitions and concerts inspired by works of literature to name but a few.

Icelands Ambassador will open the festival

The Embassy of Iceland in Berlin, Germany, which is side accredited to Poland, has been extremely helpful by assisting Iceland's contribution in various ways, and Martin Eyjólfsson, Iceland's Ambassador in Berlin, will be opening the festival.

The Gdansk Book Fair is held with the support of the Major of Gdansk, the Marshall of Pomeranian Voivoidship, Iceland's Ambassador in Berlin and Iceland's consulate in Warsaw. Icelandic Literature Center works closely with the organizers of the festival.


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